'Parking curbs are wrecking my business'
THE owner of a shop in Warmley says trade has dropped by 50 per cent since the introduction of parking restrictions.
Yogendra Gohil, who runs Warmley Stores and Post Office, has been concerned about dwindling customer numbers since resident permit parking bays were put in place near his shop in Tower Road North two years ago. He says the permit bays should be enforceable only after 6pm, when residents return home after work.
He said: “The impact of the restrictions has been massive. Before, customers could park in those spaces for five to ten minutes so they could pop in and out of the shop to do what they needed. When the restrictions were brought in there was only one parking space left for people to stop.
“Why give residents parking spaces when they're not there all day? The council could change the restrictions to start from 6pm until 8am the next morning.
“We get about half the number of customers we used to get and those that do come in don't know whether they'll get a ticket in the five or 10 minutes it takes to do a transaction. We're really thankful to those customers but it's not an ideal situation – they shouldn't have to rush in and out like that, it's not fair.”
As part of a consultation review about 18 months ago, the store submitted a petition signed by around 1,000 people in support of changing the unpopular restrictions, which stretch back to Crown Gardens cul-de-sac, but say they have been left in limbo.
Yogendra said: “The council reviewed the restrictions and around 63 per cent of people said they wanted them changed to a 20-minute wait. It seemed as though it was all agreed and was just a matter of the council changing the signage but then we were told another consultation needed to be done.
“It's a struggle anyway for small businesses but to lose about 12 parking spaces makes things really hard. It's only the customers who can walk here who are able to be loyal. The ones who have to drive can't take the risk and we can't expect them to. They are bound to go elsewhere where there's more parking.”
A spokesman for South Gloucestershire Council said: “Parking restrictions have been in place along Tower Road North and the local area since 2017, after concerns were raised about inappropriate parking blocking access to driveways, creating a road safety risk.
“We have been listening to the views of local residents and businesses. We now have a final scheme agreed which aims to balance the needs of residents, businesses and their customers. We intend to implement the changes this November depending on the weather.”